Monday, November 29, 2004

Second Thoughts On Guzman?

Buried in Baseball Prospectus' San Francisco comments is a chart of Free Agent short stops by WARP--one of their head-scratching stats that attempts to tell how many wins a player is above the kinds of stiffs that typically man Bowden's benches.


Age Team VORP WARP3
Vizquel 38 CLE 35.5 6.2 Signed SFN
Guzman 27 MIN 14.8 5.7 Signed MON
Valentin 35 CHA 17.0 5.0
Counsell 34 MIL 5.8 4.5
Renteria 29 STL 26.5 3.8
Larkin 41 CIN 23.1 3.6
Cruz 32 SFN 19.3 3.5 Signed SFN
Cabrera 30 BOS 13.7 3.3
Garciaparra 31 CHN 29.7 3.0
Clayton 35 COL 20.4 2.8
Perez 31 CHN -0.2 2.3 Signed CHN
Aurilia 33 SDN 5.8 2.2
Vizcaino 37 HOU 6.5 2.1
Gomez 33 TOR 7.3 1.4
Martinez 32 CHN 2.8 1.8
Reese 31 BOS -8.1 1.2
Gonzalez 31 SDN -3.6 0.5
Wilson 31 NYY -7.9 -0.2


Flying in the face of their stats, they conclude:
If we factor in defense via Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP3) because it's such a crucial part of their value, there's at least a glimmer of logic which emerges regarding the Vizquel and Cristian Guzman signings, as they were literally the most valuable shortstops on the market according to 2004 metrics. Of course, that's because Edgar Renteria (9.4 WARP in 2003) , Nomar Garciaparra (7.9 in '03) and Orlando Cabrera (7.0 in '03) had comparatively mediocre seasons by their high standards. On this side of the looking glass, the latter trio are still a better bet to outperform the signed duo. And yes, Enrique Wilson is on that list merely for laughs.

They're completely ignoring the age and decline of those three short stops--something they'd ordinarily be all over.

Yes, Guzman's contract is for a year too long and probably a little too much money, but you can't conveniently ignore the statistics when you don't like what they say.